Key Info

Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

NFQ Level 8 major Award Honours Bachelor Degree
CAO points history
Course code
4 Years
Subject area
Course Director
Dr Witold Kwapinski
00 353 61 234935
+353 (0)61 233755

About you

Are you a person who:

  • Is interested in pursuing a career that can really make a practical contribution to helping people and society, e.g. The production of new drugs to fight disease, developing realistic ways for sustainable energy generation, providing efficient technologies for combating climate change?
  • Enjoys the challenges of solving applied problems and applying your analytical skills to finding innovative solutions?
  • Has a flair for science and technology and wishes to put these talents to good use?

If so, this may be the programme for you.

The B.E. (Hons.) Chemical & Biochemical Engineering provides an interesting, intellectually challenging, and educationally rigorous degree programme that leads to a professionally recognised qualification and good employment prospects in any of a variety of stable, sustainable, well-paid careers.

Why study Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at UL?

This programme is the only course of its kind in the Mid-West and Western regions of the country. Process engineering is the central area of expertise underpinning many important, sustainable industries and businesses within both the Irish and global economies. Such enterprises include: biopharmaceuticals, fuels, chemicals, and drug manufacture, energy production, food and beverage processing, environmental waste remediation, and electronic component manufacture.

The Irish pharmaceutical, chemical and biochemical industries have been primarily responsible for the recent consistent increases in the national export performance, proving these sectors to be stable and resilient, even in harsh economic conditions.

In all of these areas, the chemical/biochemical engineer is of key importance both in the design and operation of the processing systems and in the development and manufacture of novel products.

This programme is IChemE accredited to ensure international professional recognition for graduates of the degree.

iChemE International accreditation logo

Learn more about our courses and upcoming events

our campus

What you will study

This four year honours degree programme comprises formal lectures/study, practical laboratories, workshops, training on industry-standard process engineering software, project work, as well as a substantial Cooperative Education period working in an industrial placement.

Years 1 and 2 provide a comprehensive grounding in all of the subjects required for a career as a professional chemical/biochemical engineer. As well as rigorous training in mathematics, process engineering, computation methods, chemistry, biochemistry, and physics, closely allied subjects are also studied, including bioprocess engineering, engineering materials and process design methods.

Beginning in year 2 and continuing throughout year 3, you will gain knowledge in fluid mechanics and heat transfer, reaction engineering and mass transfer separation. The programme also offers some advanced-level modules in the areas of pharmaceutical manufacture, formulation and sustainable methods for energy and fuel production. In year 3 you will take part in Cooperative Education placement - a training period where you will work as a chemical/biochemical engineer on one or more project-related tasks within a company, enterprise or institution.

In year 4 you will undertake a design project, in which you will work as part of a team to carry out the comprehensive design of a sustainable process for the large-scale production of a chemical or biochemical-based product. This project will give you an opportunity to develop and hone your skills in other important areas of professional engineering practice.

  Semester 1   Semester 2 Summer
MA4001 Engineering Maths 1 MA4002 Engineering Maths 2  
CH4701 General Chemistry 1 MT4002 Engineering Materials  
PH4011 Physics for Engineers 1 CH4102 Organic Chemistry 1: Functional Groups  
CG4001 Process Engineering Computation PH4012 Physics for Engineers 2  
CG5011 Principles of Chemical Engineering CH4002 Physical Chemistry 1: Thermodynamics & Kinetics  
  Semester 3   Semester 4 Summer
MA4003 Engineering Maths 3 MA4004 Engineering Maths 4  
CH4405 Fluid Mechanics & Heat Transfer CH4404 Process Technology: Instrumentation, Control  
CH4103 Organic Chemistry 2 CH4004 Physical Chemistry 3: Phase Equilibria  
BC4903 Biomolecules CH4608 Plant & Process Management  
CG4003 Bioprocess Engineering 1 CG5042 Chemical Engineering Design Methods  
  Semester 5   Semester 6 Summer
MA4007 Experiment Design   Cooperative Education Cooperative Education
CH4415 Reaction Engineering & Reactor Design      
CH4407 Mass Transfer Separations      
CG5031 Process Flowsheeting, Unit Sizing, Software      
CG4005 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics      
  Semester 7   Semester 8 Summer
CG4007 Sustainable Energy Processes CG5052 Batch (Pharma) Process Engineering  
CH4417 Pharmaceutical Formulation ME4718 Fluid Process Control  
CG4017 Bioprocess Engineering 2 CG5082 Advanced Transport Processes  
CG4027 Research Project CG4008 Process Troubleshooting  
CG4097 Design Project 1 CG4098 Design Project 2  

Entry requirements

CAO points history
Minimum grades

Applicants are required to hold at the time of enrolment the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.

Subject requirements

In addition, applicants must hold a minimum grade H4 in Mathematics and grade O6/H7 in one of the following: Physics, Chemistry, Physics with Chemistry, Engineering, Computer Science, Technology, Design & Communication Graphics/ Technical Drawing, Biology, Agricultural Science, Applied Maths, Construction Studies.

Additional considerations

A Special Mathematics Examination will be offered at UL following the Leaving Certicate results for those students who did not achieve the Mathematics requirement.

Applications are welcome from transferees with NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications) Level 7 awards. Suitably qualified students may be offered exemptions from years 1 and/or 2.

We welcome applications from mature students. Mature applicants must apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February.

Application information for mature student applicants (PDF)

QQI Entry

Certain QQI Awards are acceptable in fulfilling admission requirements for this programme. Visit the UL Undergraduate Admissions QQI site for a full list of modules.

Non-EU Entry Requirements

How to apply

Where are you applying from? How to Apply
Ireland Irish students must apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found here. 
The UK  Students who have completed their A-Levels can apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found on the Academic Registry website. 
The EU EU students can apply to UL via the CAO. More information can be found on the Academic Registry website.
Non-EU country If you are outside of the EU, you can apply for this degree here.

Fees and funding

Student course fees are broken into three components - Student contribution, Student Levy and Tuition Fees.

A number of illustrative examples of fees for this course based on the current fee levels have been set out in the tables below.

An explanation of the components, how to determine status and the criteria involved is provided below the examples as is a list of possible scholarships and funding available.

EU Students with Free fees status in receipt of a SUSI grant

HEA pays Tuition Fees €4,262
SUSI pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €100

EU Students with Free fees status not in receipt of a grant

HEA pays Tuition Fees €4,262
Student pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €100

Students with EU fee status not in receipt of a grant

Student pays Tuition Fees €4,262
Student pays Student contribution €3,000
Student pays Student Levy €100

Non-EU Students

Student pays Tuition Fees €20,900
Student pays Student Levy €100

Student course fees are comprised of the following components:

Student Contribution

Annual charge set by the government for all full-time third level students. All students are liable unless they have been approved for a grant by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please refer to to determine your eligibility for a grant and for instructions on how to apply. The current student contribution is set at €3000.

Student Levy

All students are liable to pay the Student Levy of €100. Please note the Student Levy is not covered by the SUSI Grant.

Tuition Fees

These are based on Residency, Citizenship, Course requirements.

Review the three groups of criteria to determine your fee status as follows

  1. Residency
    • You must have been living in an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland for at least 3 of the 5 years before starting your course
  2. Citizenship
    • You must be a citizen of an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland or have official refugee status
  3. Course Requirements (all must be met)
    • You must be a first time full-time undergraduate (Exceptions are provided for students who hold a Level 6 or Level 7 qualification and are progressing to a Level 8 course in the same general area of study).
    • You must be undertaking a full-time undergraduate course of at least 2 year’s duration
    • You cannot be undertaking a repeat year of study at the same level unless evidence of exceptional circumstances eg serious illness is provided (in which case this condition may be waived)

Depending on how you meet these criteria your status will be one of the following -

  • Free Fee Status: You satisfy all three categories (1, 2 and 3) and therefore are eligible for the Higher Education Authority’s Free Fees scheme.
  • EU Fee Status: You satisfy both the citizenship and residency criteria but fail to satisfy the course requirements and are liable to EU fees.
  • Non EU Fee Status: You do not meet either the citizenship or residency criteria and are therefore liable to Non EU fees.

More information about fees can be found on the Finance website

These scholarships are available for this course

These scholarships are available for all courses

Your future career

Employability skills from this degree

  • Solving problems and using analytical skills
  • Managing projects
  • Working in teams
  • Using leadership skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to develop manufacturing processes for a wide variety of products

Further study options

Graduates with this degree have pursued Ph.D. research in a chosen field.

Job titles for graduates with this degree

Graduates progressing directly into employment take up a wide variety of roles. The following provides a sample of initial roles listed on the Graduate Outcomes Survey by graduates approximately one year after graduation:

  • Process Engineer
  • Process Projects Engineer
  • Biotech Production Specialist
Jenna Bromell

Jenna Bromell

When considering what path to take at university, I wanted to choose a career which would:

  • Be challenging
  • Involving problem solving
  • Lead to plenty of diverse opportunities afterwards

Chemical engineering was a degree that ticked all these boxes for me.

I loved applied math in school as I loved applying a problem-solving mindset to real life applications. Chemical engineering was a path which fulfilled this for me. Being a chemical engineer is all about being faced with a problem and applying structured problem-solving methodologies to develop the most economical solution, taking all practicalities and constraints into account. It does not matter what the nature of the problem is - chemical engineering equips you with the problem-solving mindset to be able to tackle challenges in any industry.

There is also so much opportunity for career progression as a chemical engineer. A chemical engineering degree lays strong foundations to set you up for success long term. Whether you would like to work in a smaller company, in a multinational company or as a consultant, there is freedom to choose a path which appeals to you.

Regardless of the specific direction you choose within the field of chemical engineering, the knowledge and skills you acquire will enable you to make a positive impact on society. In essence, through chemical engineering, we can convert our understanding of chemistry and biochemistry into tangible improvements to people’s lives.


Jack O'Callaghan

Jack was awarded a BEng in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering (1st Class Honours) from the University of Limerick in August 2020.

“The advantage of doing a chemical engineering degree at UL is the freedom of choice. The foundation of knowledge and transferrable skills developed in LM115 affords opportunities far beyond the conventional pharmaceutical and process industries. The practical lab experience, hands-on design projects and exposure to leading commercial software set the BEng in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering apart as a well-regarded, highly employable degree. My time with LM115 has opened many doors (both in research and in industry) and I am grateful that my degree has enabled me to pursue what I am passionate about, rather than obligating me to pursue one specific career or another.”

Jack O’ Callaghan is a bioengineering PhD candidate at the Bernal Institute He is a recipient of a Government of Ireland Postgraduate (GOIPG) research scholarship from the Irish Research Council where he is exploring novel strategies for drug design and translational medicine. Jack is also involved in research relating to the pathogenesis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.


Jack O'Callaghan

Aoife Cotter

Aoife is from Limerick City and attended Laurel Hill Secondary School. She completed her undergraduate degree in Industrial Biochemistry at the University of Limerick in 2022 and graduated with a first-class honors. During her time at the University of Limerick, she completed her cooperative education in Regeneron’s Industrial Operations and Product Supply site in Raheen, Limerick. She was awarded the Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship to complete her Ph.D. at the Bernal Institute at the University of Limerick. Aoife’s research focuses on developing inhalable micro-and nanoparticulate powders of therapeutic proteins.